Sign my petition to drop Lansley’s monster

Dr. Kailash Chand calls for the NHS bill to be dropped, and introduces his petition which he hopes you will sign to help him

By Dr Kailash Chand OBE

The health and social care bill has had a chequered passage since it was announced as proposed legislation for England on January 19th this year. The secretary of state for health, Andrew Lansley, proposes wide-ranging changes to the delivery of health care and how it is commissioned.

The reforms will increase the stake of private companies in the NHS, so that instead of GP-led primary care and consultant-delivered hospital services we will see “any willing providers” picking up the most lucrative high-margin operations, leaving the NHS to provide complex, costly care. The health secretary will no longer be able to intervene as the Bill abrogates their duty to oversee the provision of universal health care.

The prime minister’s parliamentary speech suggesting that the reforms are well supported by the Royal Colleges and health workers do not stand up to scrutiny.

The BMA has openly asked the Bill to be withdrawn, the Royal College of Nursing has passed a vote of no confidence in Andrew Lansley, a large number of scholars have written openly in the national papers for the Bill to be withdrawn, and notable Liberals such as Baroness Shirley Williams and Dr Evan Harris have come out in opposition.

It is worth reminding ourselves that there is no mandate from the public or either party in the coalition to this reform.

Key to the government’s reforms (dubbed “Lansley’s monster” by the BMJ) are economic efficiency and a target of £20 billion in savings to be achieved by 2015. This is impossible to achieve, for many reasons.

Even in the sternest times, the NHS has been expected to run a cost efficiency reduction of four per cent despite the evidence that only two per cent was achieved at the most. Against a competing demand of more expensive treatments and high patient expectations it is just not possible to improve financial efficiency to the extent the coalition government proposes without it seriously affecting patient care.

The projected cost of the reorganisation is £3 billion, which is money that is drawn away from frontline provision of care. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to answer this question: “Is this Bill necessary or wise, given the current state of the UK economy?”

A further concern I have is that commissioning as proposed has never been tried and tested elsewhere. The coalition intends to make GPs responsible for all commissioning other than that of specialist services.

The flaw in this argument is that GPs are not experienced in commissioning, many do not want to do it, and also it will take those very experienced GPs who do take the role, away from providing patient care. These GPs are likely to be at a level of seniority where they are a major asset to patient care. Drawing them away from patient care is likely to have consequences for primary care.

For those who intend to commission and have the resources to do so, it seems less than clear how any conflict of interest will be overcome. Those who commission will be permitted to provide a service too, effectively increasing the scope of self-commissioning and self-profit.

The most contentious part of the Bill is the Secretary of State’s intentions to introduce private health care well beyond the vision of any previous government.

There is already scope for Foundation Trusts to increase their income from private providers, but so far they have been cautious not to do this as they still operate under the framework of the NHS Constitution.

Removing the barriers will mean that waiting lists will target patients with higher resources than the NHS tariff, private patients will be prioritised over NHS patients, and the real threat is that the elderly and the vulnerable, those with chronic mental health problems, those with chronic medical problems such as diabetics, renal patients, etc will be a low priority.

There is every possibility that the reformed NHS under these proposals will become exclusive rather than inclusive. Removal of a cap over private income will see Foundation Trusts competing over costs rather than quality, so that those that are run by poor management will risk the stability of the hospital to a much greater extent than prevails now.

I’ve spent my life working for the NHS as a doctor, a GP and as a PCT Chair, as well as for the British Medical Association. I believe this is the wrong reform at the wrong time and I am passionately opposed to the Bill for the reasons stated above. That’s why I’m asking you to help by signing this petition. If we get 100,000 signatures, Number 10 will surely finally be forced to listen and drop this Bill.

See also:

How Tories wrecked the NHS (but learnt to love targets (too late))Alex Hern, November 17th 2011

Like arthritis, Lansley’s NHS bill is attacking the very thing it should protectJos Bell, October 21st 2011

UK Uncut: Stop the traffic to stop the NHS being run overTim Holmes, October 7th 2011

Second reading of NHS bill offers a second chance to kill itAlex Hern, October 6th 2011

Cameron’s fantasy list of NHS reform backersShamik Das, September 7th 2011

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52 Responses to “Sign my petition to drop Lansley’s monster”

  1. LeftDamStraight

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  6. Political Planet

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  7. Louise Barnes

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  10. Alex Braithwaite

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  11. Lindsey Donges

    Sign my petition to drop Lansley's monster: The secretary of state for health, Andrew Lansley, proposes wide-ran… http://t.co/9i65IuJI

  12. Dr Kailash Chand OBE

    RT @leftfootfwd: Sign my petition to drop Lansley's monster http://t.co/svm5elx6

  13. Andy Slaughter MP

    RT @KailashChandOBE: Sign my petition to drop Lansley's monster http://t.co/v7hyQziX

  14. Beth Stevens

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  15. Matt Zarb-Cousin

    Sign and RT this if you haven't! #dropthebill RT @KailashChandOBE: Sign my petition to drop Lansley's monster http://t.co/x3H42uTh

  16. Andy Slaughter MP

    RT @hammersmithandy: RT @KailashChandOBE: Sign my petition to drop Lansley's monster http://t.co/v7hyQziX

  17. NHS assessment of Lansley’s plan’s risk makes for sober reading | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Sign my petition to drop Lansley’s monster – Dr Kailash Chand OBE, November 24th […]

  18. Harry Barnes

    Worrying developments on the NHS privatisation story, following on from the Hinchingbrooke Hospital take over by Circle Health. It seems there is a connection between Circle Health and one of Andrew Lansley’s adviser/s…as mentioned in the KONP film below,

    KONP (Keep our NHS Public): a short film about lobbying and the sad story NHS privatisation story called “The Health Industry Lobbying Tour” (scroll down the bottom of the web page) and you will be amazed (or not) at the connections between private companies and the Tory party.
    http://www.keepournhspublic.com/index.php

    Here is another short film highlighting how the NHS is being secretly privatised,
    You Tube: NHS Privatisation
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNiruX2gZDc

    The Labour Party has a useful web link http://www.labour.org.uk/dropthebill to sign. It gives the impression if the bill can be dropped – privatisation of the NHS will stop. All the information available indicates this is an ongoing campaign by the Tory party to (secretly) privatise the NHS, whatever the outcome of the Health and Social Care Bill.

  19. Simon Jones

    RT @leftfootfwd: Sign my petition to drop Lansley's http://t.co/uJES3kWB

  20. Andy S

    Sign petition to drop Lansley's monster #dropthebill #saveourNHS http://t.co/cBZ4qoas (via @UNISONOurNHS)

  21. Dr Kailash Chand OBE

    @AllysonPollock Sign my petition to drop Lansley's monster http://t.co/svm5elx6 You only lose when u give up.

  22. Stew Wilson

    SIGN THIS to help #savetheNHS asks Dr. @KailashChandOBE: http://t.co/LDENrdom

  23. saveournhs westmids

    @AllysonPollock Sign my petition to drop Lansley's monster http://t.co/svm5elx6 You only lose when u give up.

  24. Angus Carruthers

    Dr Kailash Chand OBE: Sign my petition to drop Lansley’s monster #NHS #healthbill #DropTheBill #SaveOurNHS @leftfootfwd http://t.co/iTPHNXoc

  25. Shanti Lall

    SIGN THIS to help #savetheNHS asks Dr. @KailashChandOBE: http://t.co/ILG6X84O

  26. HealthCareTOB

    http://t.co/nQnowYeC Sign my petition to drop Lansley's monster – Left Foot Forward

  27. Fuck Oxbridge

    SIGN THIS to help #savetheNHS asks Dr. @KailashChandOBE: http://t.co/ILG6X84O

  28. Blue Apes Revolt.

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  29. Dr Kailash Chand OBE

    Why you should Sign and RT E- petition http://t.co/2KpIlvGI
    to drop Lansley's monster? http://t.co/svm5elx6
    #dropthebill #SaveTheNHS

  30. Guy Collis

    Why you should Sign and RT E- petition http://t.co/2KpIlvGI
    to drop Lansley's monster? http://t.co/svm5elx6
    #dropthebill #SaveTheNHS

  31. bob woods

    Why you should Sign and RT E- petition http://t.co/2KpIlvGI
    to drop Lansley's monster? http://t.co/svm5elx6
    #dropthebill #SaveTheNHS

  32. Andy Sweetmore

    Why you should Sign and RT E- petition http://t.co/2KpIlvGI
    to drop Lansley's monster? http://t.co/svm5elx6
    #dropthebill #SaveTheNHS

  33. Jemma Collins

    Why you should Sign and RT E- petition http://t.co/2KpIlvGI
    to drop Lansley's monster? http://t.co/svm5elx6
    #dropthebill #SaveTheNHS

  34. The five reasons why the NHS bill is still being opposed | Left Foot Forward

    […] Kailash Chand explained the problem with this (and urges you to sign his petition against the bill): Removing the barriers […]

  35. John Nor

    If Cameron wants to cite ONE GP who supports him, we can cite one who opposes him – as do 98% of the rest: http://t.co/fpqKMknn #PMQs

  36. John O'Shea

    If Cameron wants to cite ONE GP who supports him, we can cite one who opposes him – as do 98% of the rest: http://t.co/fpqKMknn #PMQs

  37. Tom Milburn

    If Cameron wants to cite ONE GP who supports him, we can cite one who opposes him – as do 98% of the rest: http://t.co/fpqKMknn #PMQs

  38. Mark Lowe

    Sign the petition to #DropTheBill: http://t.co/fpqKMknn #SaveTheNHS #PMQs #NotAllInItTogether

  39. seuss

    If Cameron wants to cite ONE GP who supports him, we can cite one who opposes him – as do 98% of the rest: http://t.co/fpqKMknn #PMQs

  40. Alastair Sutherland

    Sign the petition to #DropTheBill: http://t.co/fpqKMknn #SaveTheNHS #PMQs #NotAllInItTogether

  41. seuss

    Sign the petition to #DropTheBill: http://t.co/fpqKMknn #SaveTheNHS #PMQs #NotAllInItTogether

  42. Samantha Johnston

    Sign the petition to #DropTheBill: http://t.co/fpqKMknn #SaveTheNHS #PMQs #NotAllInItTogether

  43. Tim Horton

    If Cameron wants to cite ONE GP who supports him, we can cite one who opposes him – as do 98% of the rest: http://t.co/fpqKMknn #PMQs

  44. Robert Bowers

    RT @leftfootfwd: Sign the petition to #DropTheBill: http://t.co/dI8pdb4m #SaveTheNHS #PMQs #NotAllInItTogether

  45. malcolm

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  46. GP in Cameron’s constituency: “Nobody supports the NHS changes” | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Sign my petition to drop Lansley’s monster – Dr Kailash Chand OBE, November 24th […]

  47. Michael Anthony Snai

    RT @leftfootfwd: Sign my petition to drop Lansley's monster http://t.co/JZ8sgQ5z

  48. The Financial Times comes out against the NHS bill | Left Foot Forward

    […] the FT is pro-reform, wrongly believing that “if the NHS is to become more efficient, as it must, there should be more […]

  49. ConHome: Drop the Health Bill | Left Foot Forward

    […] Sign my petition to drop Lansley’s monster – Dr Kailash Chand OBE, November 24th […]

  50. Look Left – The fight for the soul of the NHS goes on | Left Foot Forward

    […] the campaign last November, petition organiser Dr Kailash Chand wrote on Left Foot Forward of the need to “drop Lansley’s monster”, and that the claims of the […]

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